Ontario PC leader, Patrick Brown along with other PC caucus members did a stop over in Sault Ste. Marie this past Sunday to have round table discussions with local officials, police services and firefighters. He was also joined by ward 6 councillor Ross Romano who could be a contender to carry the PC banner in the next provincial election. Brown is on a fact finding mission well before election fever hits.
Brown touched on a number of issues but the recent elimination of 20 firefighters as part of a realignment of resources plan put forth by Fire Chief Mike Figliola caught his attention. Brown met with firefighters to discuss the cuts. The issue has also been brought up at Queen’s Park.
Romano was one of the councillors who endorsed the fire chief’s plan however he told firefighters on Sunday that if a comprehensive risk assessment study can be completed, he would be the first to revise his vote if the study showed the public is at risk with the cuts.
The PC’s believe it’s up to the government to provide the proper tools to municipalities to make informed decisions. Jim Wilson mentioned this last week in the Ontario legislature, “Why is this government afraid to offer a proper risk-based assessment tool, one that will actually help to ensure there are enough firefighters to ensure community safety?”
Meanwhile, PTSD, the safety and well being of officers, grant funding for programs administered by Sault Police Services and tackling mental health issues are all big concerns put forward from city police chief Keetch.
After a full day of “listening” to various stakeholders locally, Brown attended a hockey game between Police Services and Firefighters.
The Sault was just one of many stops for the leader in Northern Ontario being dubbed the “Northern Lens; Listening Tour”